Hike Chamise Peak! Grand Views Await.

Redding has hills aplenty. We are surrounded. Chamise Peak is one with a terrific trail to the top, making it a standout among its fellow foothills. The single-track dirt path up the 1,628-foot peak just north of Redding is great for a hike, run, or ride. Rewards are a good workout and grand views.

It’s a relatively easy hike for a family and the views are impressive. The panoramic perspective from the top includes Shasta Lake, Shasta Dam, Mt. Shasta, Keswick Reservoir, and the distant Trinity Alps. Chamise Peak Trail was completed in 2009. It came to be through BLM’s trail-development partnership with Redding Foundation, McConnell Foundation, and the US Bureau of Reclamation. The path is part of a 25 mile network of dirt trails east of Keswick Reservoir liking Shasta Dam to the Sacramento River Trail. The route up to the peak is a side trip–created because the trailblazers wanted a spot with a nice viewpoint.

The peak is named for chamise (Adenostoma fasiculatum), an evergreen California native shrub that grows happily in locations with harsh conditions. The hike to the top of the peak can be approached two ways–starting from the north on the Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail or from theĀ  south on Flanagan Trail. The Upper Sacramento Ditch version is the longer route–13 miles or so round trip. Starting point is the parking lot at Shasta Dam visitors center. Chamise Peak Trail is a left turn several miles down the Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail.

The Flanagan Trail option–the more common route to reach the peak, is about five miles round trip. The trailhead is a small parking area along Flanagan Road north of Tedding off Lake Boulevard. Flanagan Trail connects to Chaise Peak Trail on the rights. The peak trail gradually circles up the hill. Elevation gain from Flanagan Trailhead to the top of Chamise Peak is roughly 700 feet. It’s a moderately strenuous hike. Nothing over 10% grade, but you work up a sweat.

There’s a picnic table at the top, so bring lunch or a snack. The trail is popular with hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Dogs are allowed. For a map, visit HealthyShasta. http://healthyshasta.org/maps/KeswickTrails2001.pdf.


story by Laura Christman